Building this year announced a special award to commemorate the lifetime achievement of one of the industry’s biggest characters, who sadly passed away unexpectedly in September last year
Patsy Byrne was the chief executive and co-founder of the Byrne Group of companies that he launched with his brother Johnny in 1969. Between them, they grew the business to become one of the most well known and respected specialist contractors in UK construction. The company’s roll call of projects includes many of the UK’s most prestigious schemes: the Shard, the 2012 Olympic stadium, and the Emirates stadium amongst them.
Born in 1949, in Co Kerry, Ireland, Patsy Byrne was a man who many in the sector knew first hand, but many more by his larger than life reputation. Both in the contracting world in which he worked, but also, away from the industry, in the horse and greyhound racing worlds which were his other passion. Greyhounds owned by Patsy triumphed in the English, Irish and Scottish derbies, and shortly before his passing Patsy’s horse, White Star Line, raced to victory in the Kerry Grand National.
Tony Dowle, Byrne Group managing director, echoed the sentiments of many in the sector when he described Patsy Byrne as “immense character who touched the hearts and minds of everyone he came into contact with.”
A charismatic, driven and remarkably successful man, Patsy will be sadly missed by many, but also incredibly fondly remembered.